Associated with Waag Society

How to start a movement – BigPicnic Partners develop their co-creation strategies

BigPicnic’s blueprint for co-creation toolkit has just been completed. This document helps Partners, and other organisations, to develop effective and relevant co-creation activities to engage local communities and stakeholders with Responsible Research and Innovation for food security. Using this strategy and a personal co-creation workbook, Partners have drafted their own co-creation strategies, identifying their mission for BigPicnic and the target audiences they hope to reach.

Partners work together to co-create potential exhibition ideas at the Train the Trainers meeting.

Partners work together to co-create potential BigPicnic exhibition ideas at the Train the Trainers meeting. Credit: Waag Society.

The BigPicnic team is incredibly diverse, consisting of 19 Partners spanning 12 countries across Europe and in Uganda. Even though the majority of Partners are botanic gardens, each garden has different skills or constraints and a specific social, economic and cultural context. The situation in Norway will be distinctly different to that in Uganda, Spain or Poland. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to co-creation, so BigPicnic aims to train all gardens to work effectively and efficiently in co-creation processes in a working structure that allows room for flexibility and is adaptable to local differences.

This new document introduces the methodology used in the training, referred to as ‘Start a movement’. BigPicnic Partners were introduced to this process during the Train-the-Trainer Meeting in October 2016. ‘Start a movement’ combines the principles of co-creation with those of changing behaviour in marketing and behavioural science. It is a five-stage co-creation approach, developed by Waag Society.

Stage One: open your mind

The first step to shaping a movement is to immerse yourself in the topic and gain an in-depth understanding of the context the movement is started in. This enables both BigPicnic Partners and their target audiences to get a sense of what information is already out there, what people are interested in, and how they can communicate their desired message to wider audiences.

Stage Two: enabling environment exploration

An enabling environment is one which encourages and supports new behaviours. Partners will need to explore and experiment with different environments that have generated change in other situations and projects to better understand what influences their target audiences and what inspires them to act. This will help Partners to develop their own guidelines for what an enabling environment should contain.

Stage Three: movement mission, stakeholders and audiences

Next, Partners must identify their target audiences and other relevant groups and individuals. Partners will address questions such as what do they want to achieve? Who are they targeting? What do they want their target audiences to do? What area of the cause are they focussing on? And how could the movement continue? This helps to define who should be recruited as co-creators and to shape the mission and focus of the movement. 

Stage Four: co-creation with users and stakeholders

Co-creation is vital for making a change and altering people’s behaviour in a sustainable way. By involving people in the development of a movement, this change becomes part of his or her own thought process, making them more likely to commit to the cause and move with it. 

Stage Five: enabling environment design

Once all the other stages are complete, Partners are able to make the final design for their enabling environments. As the project progresses, these environments may need to adapt as people change their behaviour and new target audiences emerge.

Illustration from the co-creation journal 'Start a movement', developed by Waag Society for BigPicnic (Credit: Waag)

Image: Illustration from the co-creation journal 'Start a movement', developed by Waag Society for BigPicnic.

The ‘Start a movement’ methodology is accompanied by a workbook which provides Partners with a host of tools and techniques to shape their movement. This workbook is the blueprint for the final co-creation toolkit which will be one of the final deliverables of BigPicnic, providing an online repository of techniques for developing and managing co-creation projects and activities. The aim is to make this toolkit adjustable to Partners’ future needs, to look beyond BigPicnic and enable Partners to adopt this methodology for future projects and engagement activities.

Each Partner garden has now developed their own co-creation strategy based on the training they have received and the contents of this workbook. Deliverable 2.2 showcases the individual draft co-creation strategies from each botanic garden Partner, highlighting their initial mission, the type of co-creators they want to involve and their first steps in the co-creation process. These draft strategies will ensure that the activities and events they develop are relevant to local communities, encouraging local buy-in and result in effective and culturally appropriate activities to inspire and engage a range of audiences with Responsible Research and Innovation for food security.

Download the relevant BigPicnic deliverables below:

BigPicnic Deliverable 2.1 - Blueprint of toolkit for co-creation

BigPicnic Deliverable 2.2 - Draft partner strategies for co-creation